Frictionless, Rotating Electrostatic Discharger
Original Publication Date: 1984-Dec-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-06
This device provides a non-mechanical discharge path for electrostatic charges built up on rotating parts, such as rotating disk files. A small radioactive source, such as polonium, is placed next to the rotating shaft. This provides an ionized path for the discharge of the static charge from the rotating shaft. Current practice for the discharge of electrostatic charges from rotating disk files is to use a copper wiper on a carbon button to control static on rotating parts. This has the disadvantage of creating both copper and carbon particles which can cause head/disk crashes. Another technique uses mercury as a low friction electrical contact. If sealed, the seal can generate particulate contamination. If unsealed, the mercury device can only be used in a vertical orientation.